All the skills to learn are not fun things like learning to play guitar, speed cup stacking, or learning a new language. Some of them are far more useful skills than that.
For example, learning how to learn. When you learn the intricacies of how to learn, every skill or bit of knowledge learned thereafter just a little bit more quickly and easily, due to the fact that you fully understand the process of learning new skills.
Many of the mental skills to learn are like this. They build on essential skills that will help you learn more, do more, achieve more or generally succeed in life.
1. Ask the Right Questions
The first and most significant mental skill any human being can learn in their lives is knowing how to ask the right question or questions. Many people seek answers for questions they have never even asked. When we ask ourselves the right question, we cut away any chance of wasting our precious time seeking that which is not what we truly need.
A great way to develop this skill is to constantly ask yourself the following:
- What is the best question I could ask myself?
- How do I get what I want?
2. Find what interests you | Find your Passion
It’s a shameful thing to start a conversation if you’re not truly interested anything. You deny all of your listeners your better self. Likewise, it’s a shameful thing to not act, work and behave in ways that genuinely interest you. It won’t be the real you if you don’t really care.
This is why it is important to truly care about your work, relationships, success, your future and the rest of the laundry list. Find things in life that hold your attention and that you ENJOY doing.
“Having passion” for the things you do may be a bit trite… but it is true. If you really get behind the things you do, then keeping up the learning process for new skills will not be a chore, but something that you actively pursue.
3. Utilize Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to chances of success and understanding by using a higher level of thought. Critical thinking is a mass mix of separate skills that all come together to form thought processes that lead to better results.
Critical thinking is a magnificent tool for achieving higher success, and you can easily improve your results in life by simply being aware of what it’s like to think critically.
4. The Skill of Mindful Living
Mindfulness is one of the more important mental skills you can create.
I consider mindfulness a “mental” skill, but it touches on many aspects of our lives. It decreases stress. Helps reduce suffering from many pains and illness. And generally can help us feel healthier, happier and fitter due to the mind-body-spirit connection it fosters.
In short, mindfulness means paying extreme attention to the things you do. Since our world is a busy place and it is hard to be 100% mindful about all things 24/7/364. Mindfulness is usually broken down into specific activities where you pay extreme attention to what is going at specific times, such as, “mindful eating”.
This is the perfect example of mindfulness as a whole. When you eat mindfully you do so slowly. You savor the taste and the flavors. Try to discern what ingredients which were were used in the cooking process while reflecting on both the heat of the food on your tongue and the crispy “feel” of the food.
5. Be Comfortable With Change
If your life sucks, it’s pretty obvious that you’re going to want it to change. Likewise, if it’s amazing, you’re going to want it to either stay the same or get more amazing.
Both of these scenarios present the potential for change. Why fear it if you’re going to potentially want it for the rest of your life?
Change. Specifically, habit change, is right in my wheelhouse. I have written dozens of article about how to make positive change in your life by changing your habits.
6. Find and Remove Useless or BAD Habits
If we define useless here as having zero or worse of an impact on your goals, then simply cutting these things away would have dramatic results. Stop reading silly information you don’t really care about if there’s something you already know is better that you could be reading.
Stop watching TV that contributes nothing to you, and you will suddenly find yourself with far more time on your hands for your own success.
7. Develop Confidence
Someone asked me how I can take risks so calmly and comfortably. My answer was “I’m kind of amazing.” The only problem I have with that sentence is that I told them “kind of.”
Now let me be clear. I do not have a superhuman ego. I rarely brag about accomplishments and spend far more time encouraging others than I do talking about myself. I am actually a bit of an introvert.
8. Think Positive
Life can be tough. Bad things happen to us all the time. Sometimes a bad past haunts us everyday.
It is easy to fill your mind with negative thoughts. But it is essential not to do this.
Positive thinking is a skill. It is something you need to work at intentionally to improve. Learning the skill of positivity is certainly worth the time invested.
9. Improve your Memory Skill
If you love quotes, poems, lyrics or excerpts, you need to be able to memorize them. While it’s great to be able to repeat them to others, we cannot remember everything that crosses us.
By learning to remember the significant words we cross, we become better at instilling them within ourselves. If it’s important enough to remember, it’s probably important enough to embody.
10. Maintain Self Awareness
Most people get trapped in their own plans, goals, memories and ideas. Life happens around them without them being aware. As John Lennon said, “Life happens while we are busy making other plans”.
The self awareness skill is about keeping one foot in the present and truly understanding what is going on in your life. Even as you reach for the stars of the future.
11. Skill of Focus
Focus is another meta-skill that influences many other mental skills. The ability to fully focus your mind on a single topic is essential for getting the most creativity and productivity out of your time.
If your mind is jumbled with other thoughts or busy trying to multitask your ability to focus greatly suffers. Like many mental and physical activities, focus can be increased and improved with effort.
12. The Research Skill
When you seek the information here in this list of skills to learn, remember that one source can only give you what it has to offer rather than what’s truly available. Be sure to seek more information, even if you think you have all the answers, because one little epiphany could change everything.
13. Rewire your Brain
Neuroplasticity is the ability to rewire your brain. You can increase IQ, recall, reading speed, cognition by using ideas from this new brain science. The idea behind these activities is to create new information pathways. These new pathways will often help you learn like a child would, quickly and with an ease few adults possess.
14. Build the Deliberate Practice Habit
Think about basketball. You have two guys practicing. Both spend one hour practicing. The first guy is running around doing a bit of everything. He does some jump shots. He practices dribbling. He chases after balls as they get away from him. He is not focused on his practice, he tries to do everything.
15. Think Logically
Many people encounter a problem and immediately react with an emotional, erratic train of thoughts. They panic, worry, fear or generally become overwhelmed by a negative emotion.
Logic is mathematical; it is the process of finding appropriate answers. Remember that the appropriate answers are what matter, not what you are feeling in times of trouble.